Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Prescription for Sin

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

I felt it immediately, a sting on my left arm. It wasn’t extremely painful so I thought the culprit was a harmless insect. I paid little attention to it until the pain became more intense. By that evening, the pain was nearly unbearable and my arm had swollen to nearly twice its size.  

I went to the emergency room of a hospital close by. After a careful examination, the doctor said I had been bitten, most likely, by a poisonous spider, perhaps a brown recluse. He gave me some very strong antibiotics along with the encouraging words that I would be back to normal in a two or three weeks. 

That painful and scary process reminds me of the sin that so easily besets us, or trips us up [Hebrews 12.1]. At first, you feel the sting of sin, but you don’t think of it as something serious to deal with. But some time later, it grows and becomes more painful, but by then, you are tripping over it time and time again. 

In his book, James offers an antidote, a prescription of sorts, for the people with “evil desires” and who were hurting others to satisfy those desires [4.1-2]. Here is that prescription:

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” [4.7-10].

That’s God’s way. That’s the way to freedom, spiritual health and vitality. The Holy Spirit is our Helper here. He helps identify our sin, empowers us to resist temptation, and restores our friendship with God. Go after that freedom with all of your heart. As we do, the promise of God is spectacular. He will draw close to us, and He will lift us up!

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4.7

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